Gloucestershire police announces future of more stations

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The future of four more police stations in Gloucestershire has been announced.

Stations in Bishops Cleeve and Whaddon will close, Winchcombe will share the town council's space and Churchdown will remain open pending further talks.

Earlier this year, the force announced the closure of 13 stations as it bids to tackle an £18m budget reduction over the next four years.

Chair of Gloucestershire Police Authority, Rob Garnham, said the decision process had been "painful".

"Of course it was never going to be easy to determine which police stations should close," added Mr Garnham.

"Inevitably some people will be disappointed, but I can reassure everyone that even where a police station is closing, we will still provide a visible and accessible policing presence."

Police points

In the absence of a station, 11 so-called police points have so far been opened around Gloucestershire in public places such as council offices and local libraries.

At these points members of the public can meet an officer to discuss concerns they have about crime and disorder in the area.

Kevin Potts, manager of a Neighbourhood Project in the Whaddon area of Cheltenham, described his local police point as "a board on the wall" containing information.

"[Officers] actually man the board at certain times when you can report crime or discuss issues you have," he added.

"There has been a rise in anti-social behaviour in the past few months and whether that is related to the police moving over to Hester's Way (police station) we are not sure."

Mr Potts said it could also be related to youngsters having less to do, as Whaddon Youth Centre is now only open for two nights a week rather than five as before.

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